Through the heart of California’s largest metropolitan area, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area extend from Elysian Park overlooking Los Angeles City Hall to the Oxnard Plain. The Santa Monica Mountains are unique to California as a largely undeveloped coastal range in the midst of a major metropolitan area with both coastal and mountain ecosystems.
While the range itself is a physically and ecologically integrated area of over 223,000 acres, a history of fragmented political jurisdictions led to piecemeal development and uncoordinated planning which threatened to ruin the area’s natural open space and recreational value.
More about our lands
Headwaters Corner at Calabasas & Dry Canyon Creek – a crucial link
A 92-acre gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains that includes MRT's headquarters, he goal of Headwaters Corner at Calabasas is to create a unique educational center that will generate a population of future land stewards dedicated to protecting and preserving the biological diversity of the Santa Monica Mountains. Learn more...
Cold Creek Preserve
1600 acres protecting one of southern California’s most pristine free-flowing creeks, Cold Creek, and its surrounding ecosystems. It is one of the few perennial streams in the area. Cold Creek is designated as a Significant Ecological Area (SEA) within the Santa Monica Mountains. Learn more...
La Sierra Preserve
Part of a larger area designated as a SEA based on the presence of natural habitat supporting rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species, the La Sierra Preserve is home to many locally uncommon plants as well as a surrounding watershed with several water features including perennial streams, ephemeral streams, seeps and vernal pools. Learn more...
“Typically it’s not the trees and vegetation igniting homes, it’s the other way around.” Richard Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute and author of the book, “Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California”
Partnering with California State Parks and leveraging volunteer efforts in the community, Commemorative Oaks is the successful restoration of oak woodlands in Malibu Creek State Park. Since 1992, MRT planted over 2,000 oak trees and native grasses, helping Malibu Creek State Park return to its native glory.
Dry Canyon Creek is a crucial link between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the Santa Monica Mountains. In 2006, MRT began a project to restore and improve the natural wetland and riparian habitat (the stream corridor and vegetation) along the banks of Dry Canyon Creek, a year-round headwater of the Los Angeles River.
La Sierra is a prime wildlife habitat, biologically diverse, and rich in willow riparian habitat, oak woodland, mixed riparian woodland, coastal sage scrub, wetlands, grassland, and chaparral. La Sierra provides habitat linkages to springs, seeps, and wetland areas that are critical to wildlife in the Malibu Creek watershed.
MRT has been working to restore the Malibu Creek Watershed by removing invasive aquatic species, such as the Red Swamp Crayfish since early 2010. The Malibu Creek Watershed is the second largest watershed draining to the Santa Monica Bay and lies within 20 miles of three million people.